Does your dog beg for food every time you eat? Begging is a common problem that most dog owners face. One reason so many dogs beg is, because dogs overpower us with those big sweet puppy eyes, and we give in and offer them some of whatever we’re eating. Those puppy powers of persuasion are undeniably difficult to resist, but don’t worry not all is lost. You can muster the willpower to say no, and when you do, you’ll discover that begging is one of the easier behaviors to change. Here are some tips to help you get your dog to stop begging:
Quit Giving Food – For some, this will seem quite obvious. However, begging is a learned behavior, which means the reason your dog is begging is because it has worked in the past. I know it can be really tough to resist those big loving eyes from your beloved pup, but then you hear the whine and your resolve crumbles. Remember the whine is just another weapon in your dog’s arsenal, and your pooch will use it, because it’s effective and already been proven on the begging battlefield. Be strong, don’t give in to your dogs begging, and he’ll learn begging doesn’t equal treat.
Don’t feel like your being mean – You provide for your dog. She is well feed, has shelter and gets plenty of exercise. You know it’s true, because you’re the one who takes care of all her needs, so don’t give in when you see those sad eyes looking at you accompanied by a paw on your leg. Remember human food can actually hurt your dog. You’re not being an ogre. You’re doing her a favor and putting her health first.
Ignore Your Dog – Yes, he’s cute and you want to give in. Even so, keep in mind begging is an attention seeking behavior. Every single time you give in, present a treat, pet him, talk to him, or pay attention in any way, are reinforcing the begging behavior while rewarding him for it. Instead, ignore him when he begs, he’ll soon learn that begging doesn’t get him what he wants.
Stay Consistent – Make sure everyone in the family in on-board. If you’re not giving in to Fido, but your roommate is still giving her treats, your training is not going to work. As with any kind of training everyone must be consistent. The only way your dog will stop begging is after she learns the behavior is ineffective 100% of the time.
Don’t Give Up – Think about how long it can take a human to change, if they ever do. Dogs will not change overnight. It could take a while. Follow these steps and Don’t give up! It will happen. It’s just going to take time, patience and consistency.